King Features in Partnership with Drawn & Quarterly
King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters, announces a partnership with Drawn & Quarterly for a forthcoming book featuring some of the greatest strips from the award-winning comic strip Curtis. Coming to shelves in February 2025, the book is a collected edition of favorite past strips from Ray Billingsley’s classic syndicated comic Curtis.
Curtis, following the stories of a Black middle-class family navigating everyday life, come together in a brand-new collector’s edition from Drawn & Quarterly. Featuring extensive interviews, supplementary writing, and never-before-seen early comics, Billingsley’s career takes center stage in this landmark career retrospective. The upcoming book is suggested to retail for $29.95 and will be available wherever books are sold.
As a comics veteran, Billingsley uses his own childhood of growing up in Harlem in a tight-knit family as the template for Curtis. Some of the experiences and featured characters throughout are directly influenced by real people and happenings the author has known and experienced. Curtis has been long praised by community leaders and educators for its sensitive portrayal of urban life and family values.
“I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all my readers, both loyal and new, who have embraced Curtis and made him part of their family,’ said Ray Billingsley. “I have lived a career that some would dream of and I’m more than happy to have you accompany me on this journey. And a mighty thanks to all at King Features Syndicate who actually put up with all my eccentricities. This book is my gift to you all everywhere.”
“Ray Billingsley is an all-time great cartoonist,’ said Tom Devlin, executive editor, Drawn & Quarterly. “Rereading Curtis you realize that the strip is not just a daily laugh but a whole world, the creation of a living breathing boy who argues with his father, has an unrequited love interest named Michelle, has a best friend named Gunk who’s absolutely puzzling. With a lesser cartoonist, they would just exist for punchlines, but in Ray’s hands, we care about each and every one of them.”
“Curtis has made a huge impact on its readers and we are thrilled to work with Drawn & Quarterly to bring fans this beautiful collected edition book,” said Christina Nix-Lynch, senior director of licensing, King Features. “It’s a priority for King Features to continue offering comics that educate and entertain our diverse audience of comic fans.”
Ray Billingsley, the creator of Curtis, is one of today’s most important and poignant features on the comics pages. Billingsley draws from real life, and the strip has the fresh quality of situational humor, mixed with melodrama, comedy and pathos. In 2021, Ray Billingsley was awarded Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year at the Reuben Awards, the highest honor in the cartooning industry, for his work on Curtis.